I am back on track! Way back on the eve of my birthday I decided to become a tourist in my own life. I have made fair progress, maybe better than average progress. I am back at school, I took risks at work, I have traveled halfway around the world! 4 months later, and when I see it written out like this, I guess I am doing fairly well in achieving my goal! I have always been a little disappointed in myself for letting my art fall by the wayside.
Back when I was in Jr. High, I was rabid about cartooning. I did political renditions of people in the news. I loved to draw, sketch and copy art to get a feel of other people’s work. I paid attention to detail to improve my work. I spent countless hours researching other artists work. At the time, I loved the animated art of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I just couldn’t get enough. As I entered into college, my tastes expanded to include modern works of art and Renaissance paintings. The more I searched and admired, the more alone I felt in my passion. I had no one who shared in my interest. I would drag people with me to exhibits and galleries and felt I was being rushed through it. It was frustrating. People would comment, “what the hell is that?” “Why would someone buy that?” or the ever popular “I don’t get Art”. I felt pressure to stop. That alone is one of the biggest regrets of my life. The world of The Arts is such a huge part of my life, I cannot believe for one moment I let it disappear from my view. Everything from Theatre to Paintings from Photography to Architecture. I missed every moment.
When I was in Paris, I had the tremendous good fortune of spending 2 hours in the Louvre. I wish it could have been longer. I wish I was able to spend time on my own, but none the less, I saw some of the greatest works of art ever created. It was one of those “best moments ever” parts of my life. I often buy pieces I love on vacation, but have guilt about spending the money on having them framed. So there they sit, in the tubes they come home in, waiting for the day I have the courage to dig them out and spend the cash to frame them. When I came home, I decided that art was just too important for me to ignore. The prints I bought still sit in the tubes. I guess I can’t justify the money yet, but I was driving behind a bus one day when I decided what I should do to feed my passion.
The bus ad said “AGA, Matisse”. MATISSE! Matisse was coming to my home town of Edmonton! I was not letting this pass me by. Picasso thought Matisse was his only real equal and rival. His fluid curves move my soul. The importance of his work in print making was second to none. I had to go.
I was reading further about the different exhibits at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Different collections that are coming. I wanted to go to all of them. Then I remembered. I am a student. I get a student rate! Even better, I could get a student membership for $35 and go as often as I like! I told my family I was doing this. I was buying a membership and I wasn’t including them. I didn’t want them to join me. I didn’t want to feel rushed, or guilty that I could be doing something they rather be doing. This was for me. I wanted to look at art for as long as I wished, feel the emotion of the piece, and cry if I wanted too. I wanted to do this alone and for me.
Today I wandered down to Churchill Square and walked up to the AGA and bought my membership. I walked up to the Foote Gallery and spent 2 hours looking at Matisse’s work. I was moved to tears by his charcoal smudges. I was struck by the beauty of his fluid curves and boldness of strokes. I loved it. The best part is, I can go as often as I wish BY MYSELF!
Today was perfect! A little Matisse, a bond fire in the square, and hug from Santa and roasted marshmallows. What more could this tourist ask for? Life is good.